The fun thing about free style surface embroidery is that you can add texture and dimension here and there, just by changing up the stitches a bit.
Flowers, for example, don’t have to be embroidered just in daisy stitch. Lines and borders sometimes need a bit more oomph to them than backstitch or stem stitch can supply.
Leaves in a flat satin stitch or fishbone stitch certainly have their place and are beautiful, but what if you want a leaf that actually sticks up off the surface of your embroidery project?
Here’s a collection of 16 hand embroidery stitch tutorials that can help you easily add texture and dimension to your embroidery projects.
Once you know how to work them, you can add these embroidery stitches to your projects wherever texture and dimension will benefit your work.
Stitch Tutorials for adding Dimension & Texture
The list of tutorials below is arranged to follow the photo above, starting in the top left and reading across the photos in each line. If you’d like, you can click on the photo above for a much larger version.
- Knotted Pearl Stitch:
- Also called reversed Palestrina stitch, this knotty stitch can sport long, barbed arms – or not!
- Velvet Tufting:
- A great stitch for adding a little puff and fluff to your embroidery!
- Raised Buttonhole Band
- An easy way to create a textured, raised, thick line or band of embroidery.
- Small Knot Stitches:
- There are several small knot stitches that work great for adding texture, including the French knot, the colonial knot, and the Chinese knot.
- Cast-On Stitch:
- Commonly seen in Brazilian dimensional embroidery, this dimensional stitch is used for flower petals, leaves, or just loopy fun!
- Hungarian Braided Chain Stitch:
- This stitch is a textured, chunky chain variation.
- Palestrina Stitch:
- The ultimate knotted line stitch, it can be used for lines, fillings, and even for decorative edgings.
- Woven Wheel:
- You can use this stitch for flowers, flower centers, silk ribbon roses, and geometric elements.
- Bullion Stem Stitch:
- For those times when a simple stem stitch just isn’t heavy enough!
- Interlaced Chain Stitch Band:
- Another option for a heavy, textured line, this composite stitch takes curves well, too.
- Woven Filling:
- Are you looking for a filling that looks like a basket, is easy to work, and adds a good amount of texture? Here it is! You can also work this stitch over felt, to lift it more.
- The ultimate in raised, completely covered, thick, textured lines!
- Beaded Drizzle Stitch:
- A little wacky, but really fun! You might want to learn the drizzle stitch first, and then add the beads.
- Ribbed Spider Web:
- A classic stitch for ribbed, round elements. Think flowers, flower centers, geometric elements, and sea creatures.
- Scalloped Buttonholed Chain Stitch:
- Terrific for ruffly, simple edges, lines and curves.
- Woven Picot:
- If you’re interested in dimensional embroidery or stumpwork, you don’t really have a choice about this one! You must learn this stitch! It’s so versatile and just downright pretty.
The list above is certainly not exhaustive – there are plenty of other stitches that provide texture and dimension, but these will help get you going! You can find plenty of other embroidery stitch tutorials here on Needle ‘n Thread, too, from all the basic stitches to more complex composite stitches. Feel free to check out the how-to stitch videos and the Stitch Fun series for more tutorials!
We’re expecting snow here in Kansas over the weekend, so I’m thinking it’s The Perfect Weather to be inside exploring some textured & dimensional stitches on a new project. And that’s exactly what I’ll be doing. I’ll keep you updated!
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